Malini's Blog



Here is a link to my 24th column on Quartz, “After crunching Reinhart and Rogoff’s data, we’ve concluded that high debt does not slow growth,” coauthored with Yichuan Wang. The title chosen by our editor is too strong, but not so much so that I objected to it; the title of this post is…


Exactly a century ago, on February 3, 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, authorizing a federal income tax. Congress turned it into a graduated tax, based on “capacity to pay.”

It was among the signal victories of the progressive movement — the first constitutional…

The New York Times asked “How high could the tide go?” today in its ScienceTimes section. The article, by Justin Gillis, profiles a team researching sea level rise through Earth’s millennia, looking for clues on what we can expect from man-made climate change. The verdict is that as much as three to six feet of sea level rise will likely occur in this century, which would displace millions of people currently living in coastal areas. Gillis talked to Dr. Maureen E. Raymo of Columbia University, one of the leaders on the project: 

““I wish I could take people that question the significance of sea level rise out in the field with me,” Dr. Raymo said. “Because you just walk them up 30 or 40 feet in elevation above today’s sea level and show them a fossil beach, with shells the size of a fist eroding out, and they can look at it with their own eyes and say, ‘Wow, you didn’t just make that up.’ ”

If you’re interested in learning more about sea level rise and Dr. Raymo’s work, Pulitzer Center grantee Dan Grossman followed her and her team on a 4,000 mile research trek in Australia and produced Deep Water, a TED eBook available on all eReader platforms. You can also read more of Dan’s work on the local effects of global climate change on the Pulitzer Center website.image

Mount Hualcan, about 20,000 feet above sea level. Image by Dan Grossman. Peru, 2011.

Excellent set of 10 Commandments for the financial recovery plan of the United States

Arctic melt

Ambitious targets set for 2015 Paris meeting, but few commitments.  Most telling, via @guardian : “The next three years of negotiations on the treaty will be the hardest in the 20-year history of climate change talks because the world has changed enormously since 1992…China was classed then as a developing country, and although it still has about 60 million people living in dire poverty, it is now the world’s biggest emitter and will soon overtake the US as the biggest economy”

Hurricane SandyWish more Mayors of vulnerable cities around the world were as forward-thinking as Bloomberg!

Inequality in America is being slowly driven up by:

1. Regressive tax system

2. Declining investment in education

3. Increasing wealth of the top 1% by broadening customer base

4. Shift of economic focus into value-subtracting sectors such as health insurance, complex financial instruments..

The super storm expected to hit New York



Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, p. 303:

What these people have realized is one of the best secrets in life: let your self go. If you can approach the world’s complexities, both its glories and it horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that…